Newsletters – What should you test?

We always need to test to ensure that our email gets delivered. Beyond that, there are three major areas to consider:

1. Do subscribers open the email or not?

2. Do subscribers click through?

3. Do subscribers actually do what we want them to do? (Completing a purchase, completing a survey, calling a specified phone number, etc.)

Notice that each element is usually dependant on the proceeding step. For example, if your emails have a low open rate, then the click-through rate will likely suffer as a result. When focusing on getting the email opened, “from” lines and subject lines are critical.

The “from” line is generally something you test once and stick with your winner. Subject lines should be tested as often as possible. Do recipients respond to a catchy subject line, or are they more responsive to a simple promotion?

Do You Think Frequency Is Worth Testing?

Absolutely. Frequency is an important test that’s often overlooked. If you email too often, your audience may start to ignore your message. If you email too infrequently, you’ll miss opportunities to get your message out. That’s why it’s important for each organization to run its own test to find the frequency balance that maximizes sustainable return on investment (ROI).

What Other Tests Should Both Testing Pros and Beginners Consider?

The email offers and call to action should be tested regularly. But it doesn’t stop there. Here’s a list of additional items to consider testing:

• Which segments respond to your emails?

• Which offer drives the greatest conversions?

• What is the right balance of graphics and text?

• Are you better served sending content with a lot of links or a single focus?

What Is the Most Important Thing to Keep in Mind When Testing?

Just keep testing. It is a discipline you must commit to if you want to see your email’s success soar. You can’t rest on the results from a test a year or two ago, because the rules are always changing. Anything can be…

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